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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Principal Pierre Orbe at DeWitt Clinton High School Changes Grades Just Like His Predecessor, Santiago "Santi" Taveras

DeWitt Clinton Principal Pierre Orbe
This story is very interesting. Thanks to Sue Edelman and the NY POST, we now know that DeWitt Clinton High School is not the place any teacher wants to be.

If a teacher does not change his/her grades as ordered by Principal Orbe, guess what happens? You guessed it! You get 3020-a charges made up to remove you from the school.

That is how NYC works. Commit fraud, or else.

Or, how about this: grades are secretly changed, then the Principal charges the teacher with 3020-a after accusing the teacher - who did not do anything.

It may seem like you can't win. Whether you obey Orbe or you dont. Staff needs to document everything, at all times.

Carmen, what say you?

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials

Principal repeats grade-fix trick that got last one ousted: staff

Grade-fixing is still in the curriculum at a high school in Mayor de Blasio’s embattled “Renewal” program.
Former principal Santiago Taveras was removed from DeWitt Clinton HS in The Bronx in November after investigators found he improperly changed grades and retaliated against an assistant principal who refused to pass an undeserving student.
Yet on the heels of that scandal, complaints to the DOE have emerged that Taveras’ successor, Pierre Orbe, a 39-year-old first-time principal, pressured teachers to fix grades.
Teachers allege they were summoned individually to a “Fall Semester Final Grades Meeting”and handed packets with an “agenda” and grade-changing forms. Teachers sat across a table from Orbe, who expressed dissatisfaction with how they had calculated final grades.
“He wanted to coerce the teachers into changing grades instead of doing it himself,” a school source told The Post. “He made it clear that if they didn’t comply, there would be consequences. Eventually some teachers gave in because they couldn’t take it anymore.”
A letter sent to Department of Education officials says Orbe told a teacher to recalculate the final grades for four failing students, insisting the lowest possible score in a marking period be 45 percent — even if the kid never showed up.
“He told me to fill out a grade-change form and write down ‘miscalculation’ as the reason,” said the teacher. The teacher refused.
Another teacher, who assured Orbe that his students “received the grades they earned,” said the principal became “confrontational.”
Orbe questioned the teacher’s “inability” to calculate an average, the teacher said. “The tone of the meeting made me feel disrespected.”
The teacher did not change the grades, noting that Orbe had already referred the students for “credit recovery” — online courses given to failing kids as a last resort.
At least 12 students put in the quickie courses don’t qualify under DOE rules because their attendance was below 66 percent, insiders said.
Now Clinton is in the cross hairs of the “highest authorities” of the DOE, Orbe wrote in a stern memo to staff.
“This issue is on the radar of the DOE . . . This issue could be large and it won’t be this principal who fails for this,” Orbe wrote. He warned that teachers will take the blame if grades are “miscalculated” — even though he approved the changes.
Clinton, with nearly 1,700 students, is one of the biggest schools in the mayor’s Renewal program, which is pouring an extra $754 million into 75 struggling campuses.
The 100-year-old school boasts an honors program and winning sports teams, but admits many low-performing kids. Last year’s graduation rate was 46 percent, with only 19 percent deemed college-ready.
Taveras was paid $198,000 last year, including a $25,000 bonus and overtime, the DOE said. He was demoted to “educational administrator” in a Bronx office making $149,826. Orbe, whose base salary is $148,658, previously was vice principal at Talent Unlimited, a 500-student performing-arts school in Manhattan. Orbe did not return messages.
The DOE said it is investigating.
Santiago "Santi" Taveras

OPINION: Beware of Verbally Abusive and Incompetent Teacher Peter Zucker

Re-posted from, and Facebook.

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials

OPINION: Beware of Verbally Abusive and Incompetent Teacher Peter Zucker
My opinion is that New York City public school ATR teacher Peter Zucker, a former friend, has lost his ability to see reality from fantasy, and facts from fiction. The facts are that he still works for the NYC Department of Education despite being found guilty of verbal abuse and incompetency at 3020-a arbitration. He did not appeal his suspension without pay for 4 months.
Peter Zucker

The comments in this post are my opinion, as Editor of and NYC Rubber Room Reporter and other blogs.The facts are the facts.

The facts of Peter Zucker's hearing known as 3020-a arbitration:
1. See the full decision.
Peter Zucker was found guilty at 3020-a labor Arbitration by Arbitrator Richard Williams of neglect of duty; conduct unbecoming his position or conduct prejudicial to the good order, efficiency, or discipline of the service; insubordination; substantial cause rendering him unfit to perform properly his obligations to the service.

2. Arbitrator Williams gave Peter a penalty: (a) suffer a suspension without pay of four months; (b) suffer an involuntary removal from any assignment whatsoever at PS 154X to an assignment determined by the Department; and (c) that upon return from the four month suspension without pay, that he is to take part in a formal remediation program as determined by the Department.

3. Peter did not appeal this penalty.

4. Peter hired Bryan Glass as his Attorney when he sued Michael Agona and Principal Coviello among others.
(see Complaint)

5. Peter made a settlement agreement where he received $20,000 (I imagine most of that went to Bryan Glass).
See the Settlement Agreement.

Peter Zucker is a blogger, and his blog is South Bronx School. Most people who read this blog are surprised at the language used, which tends to be raw and insulting.

Then Peter turned on me, a fellow blogger and now former friend.
I am writing this to expose the alarming mental state of Absent Teacher Reserve Peter Zucker and to suggest that anyone working with him in the many schools he is rotating to as a substitute teacher be careful when working with him or in conversation with him.

Peter no longer seems to know truth from lies, and this could be dangerous not only to the health, safety and welfare of the children he works with, but those staff members who work alongside of him. At any moment you can be posted on his blog with something that you never said or did. His so-called "crack team" is, of course, he, himself, him. No one else.

Sadly, this is what Peter is all about. He uses his own reality as a weapon. For example, he and I were talking in May 2016 about matters of importance to teachers in NYC, and somehow the name of Bryan Glass, his Attorney, came up. Peter threatened me that he would never be friendly to me and would make sure I regretted writing anything about Bryan Glass, anywhere. I said nothing.

In gratitude for 'agreeing' to do what he demanded, by my not saying anything bad about Bryan, Peter crafted the article below on May 15, 2016.
I have known Peter for many years, as his post on his blog remembered:

Teachers are Lucky to Have Betsy Combier

"I first met Betsy Combier almost 10 years ago during my time in the RR during the time of Numb Nuts. I remember her showing up every now and then, placing her stuff down on a desk, sitting down, and watching a line form to see her as if people were lining up to get Mickey Mantle's autograph.

Betsy at the time was working for the UFT. She was the liaison, or something like that, for the people of the Rubber Room to the outside world. She was the friendly face, or more importantly, she was the only face that seemed to care.

With the changing of the guard at the UFT, soon Betsy was not employed by them. She was now a free agent. In my opinion this was a blessing for Betsy and the teachers she sought to help. Betsy was now a free agent. There was no stopping her now.

Betsy along with her blogs, NYC Rubber Room Reporter, and Parent Advocates, has been att the forefront of removing the sheath back over the mess that the NYCDOE has created over the years. Betsy has been, and still is, the leader in assuring those damaged by the NYCDOE that they will be heard and that their rights will not be trampled on.

I recall back in the summer of 2013 when I and several teachers in my school had our careers trampled on. I contacted Betsy to meet with us and without hesitation she did. We met at a diner on 2nd Ave and spent a couple of hours not only soaking in her knowledge of what we can do, but more importantly, having that sympathetic ear that we were missing for so long. This is what Betsy is about.

Betsy is about someone who will be with you and advocate for you from the very beginning to the very end. Betsy is about once her work is done with you will be a friend for life. Someone that you can call day or night when you have that feeling of helplessness and need someone that you can be assured will be there for you.

Betsy fights for you. She fights for us. Betsy is persistent, never gives up. When her path forward in fighting for a teacher is blocked that does not stop her at all. She dusts herself off, rolls her he sleeves and finds a new path to go down. Ceaselessly fighting and advocating until she gets the results that she wants, or better, demands.

There are many times that I called Betsy, especially in the last 3 years, in which I was in a panic or needed to here her knowledge about something. At no time had she ever turned me away, not returned a phone call, or was unable to help me.

I consider Betsy a true friend, a trusted friend. I'm not the only one that does. There are many she as helped. Many she has rescued from the abyss.

Betsy is a lifeline. When you are sinking, when you feel desperate, when you feel alone in your fight there is no one better than Betsy to have on your side.

Betsy has been there for many teachers and I hope she will continue to be there for us for many years to come. You can't go wrong with Betsy."

I was happy to see this, but never told Peter that he had to write about me. That was his choice. Except that maybe he thought that I would do whatever he told me to do or threatened me with, and never speak badly about Bryan Glass.

His post has several facts, such as I was the only one at the UFT who visited the rubber rooms in New York City on a daily basis, talking to everyone. It is also a fact that I was the only person at any of the locations, so UFT members would stand in line to chat with me. I was a Special Representative for the UFT from 2007 to 2010.

On April 13, 2017 I was forced to write what my experiences with Bryan and Jordan Harlow have been like. I will give some examples:

Bryan Glass asked me to train Jordan in how to do 3020-a hearings, so I gladly brought 5 teachers who had been charged with 3020-a to Bryan and Jordan for representation at the 3020-a with me as the paralegal. I did not know that Bryan does not do 3020-a hearings anymore. So Jordan did three hearings and all three teachers were terminated because Jordan would not listen to any suggestions I made, and wanted to do the least amount of work.

Then Bryan and Jordan called the remaining teachers into their office at 100 Church Street, 8th floor, and convinced one teacher to resign, and the other to take a very bad settlement deal. Bryan and Jordan told both of the teachers that they would be terminated if they went through with the hearing, and neither should tell me anything about what they were saying. Both teachers called me and told me what Bryan and Jordan told them. I do not work with the Glass/Harlow team at all any more.

Some other sad events to report about Bryan Glass:
1. In the Article 75 Appeals of Jeffrey Losak (Index #654452/2016) and James Geist ( Index #654135/2013), Bryan Glass and Jordan Harlow forgot to delete the social security numbers of either teacher, and Mr. Geist emailed me after I posted the arbitrator's decision from Bryan's e-file in the Supreme Court WITHOUT the social security #, that I had to immediately take down his SS# or he was reporting me to the New Jersey internet identity theft police for prosecution:

"to me           James Geist  8/24/16

I have contacted the Passaic County Sheriffs Office and spoken to the Internet Crimes Unit.  If your PDF is not down with my SS number,  I will file charges for whatever I can.  They will be getting back to me soon."

But it was not my mistake, and I could not take off the SS# from the Court System, Bryan and Jordan posted it in their public papers in the NYC Supreme Court for everyone in the world to see. I did not post the SS#.

2. In the Article 75 Appeals of Barry Selman (Index #654293/16) and Marla Eilenberg (Index #654780/16) Jordan Harlow did not file on time (Selman - filed after the 10-day statute of limitations, according to the Corporation Counsel and the Judge), or serve on time (Eilenberg - after the 15-day statute of limitations), and both cases were dismissed by the Judges assigned. Ridiculous! For an Appeal to be dismissed because of the error in serving/filing is absurd and unnecessary.

On or about May 18, 2016, a client of Jordan's asked me to take her 3020-a case when she saw me at the hearing office for these hearings, 100 Gold Street 3rd Floor in manhattan. I told her that I could not take on her case, as her dates were the same as the hearing I was there to do. I urged her to work with Jordan.

He did not return the favor. Later that day his client called me, upset, and told me that he told her never to speak with me, I was a horrible person and I wrote a terrible blog and as I was not an Attorney, not to speak with me under any circumstances. I wrote Bryan and Jordan a cease and desist letter. On or about June 9, 2016 at the 100 Gold Street DOE office, the client fired Jordan, he threw a bunch of her papers into her face and stormed out. She could not do the hearing herself, and was terminated. There is more, but I will save the rest for another post.

Peter then heard that I had written about Bryan and Jordan, immediately had a temper tantrum which caused him to post the article he originally posted on May 15, 2016 with a line through most of it. Most readers cannot figure this out, because I did not tell anyone that Peter had threatened me with personal destruction by him if I posted anything negative about Bryan Glass (does it interfere with you getting Attorney referral fees?) .

See here: Teachers are ****** to Have Betsy Combier

But that wasn't the end of his attack. Peter then posted 100% lies in this post:
A Teacher Puts His Faith in Betsy Combier, ridiculing senior teacher Javier Escudero for hiring me to be his advocate at his 3020-a after he fired Attorney Tom Ricotta of White, Ricotta and Marks on or about February 23, 2015 in the middle of his hearing. Javier saw me in the hall way of the old location for 3020-a hearings, 51-49 Chambers Street, and said "Are you Betsy Combier?" I said "Yes" and he told me to please give him my telephone number. He called me that night and we discussed my helping him. We started on March 9, 2015, and Javier spoke for himself "pro se" with my support. He received a penalty of $7500 fine, but was not terminated. We impressed the arbitrator. Javier did a great job!

(My comment to Anonymous, who accused me of obtaining a fine for Javier, and ridiculing that: First of all, I usually do not comment on anonymous posts. If someone can't own what they write they don't sign their name; anonymous means you want to say something derogatory but do not want to be held accountable. But I would like to add that Javier spoke as a pro se Respondent, and I assisted him in supporting his arguments with prior arbitrator decisions, procedures, etc. We were very happy with the fact Javier was not terminated, because by all accounts he is a phenomenal teacher, but he did appeal the fine. Second, compare the fine Javier got in his decision to the penalty Peter Zucker received, four months without pay. Peter used NYSUT. Thirdly, as you are throwing stones at me, why don't you, anonymous, assist teachers at 3020-a if they want to do their case pro se, and then let's compare the results. Ok?)

So when I saw Peter's post (he sent it to me more than once) saying that I spoke to J.E. about Bryan and Jordan being in bed with the DOE, this is a lie, Everything is made up by Peter, who probably sent the anonymous comment to his own blog, so he could make up that I said things which I did not say.

So of course I contacted Javier, and this is his response:
"I don't know what this is about but I have the most respect and I am thankful for the work you did for me.

Thank you
Javier Escudero"

Cease and desist, Peter. You should try to be a responsible journalist and not deliberately lie on the internet.
And remember, just as you can state your opinion, so can I. In my opinion, you are way out of line.
Betsy Combier
Editor of